Celebrate pumpkins, fall foliage, and the harvest with music, science, and art lesson plans!
In the first of two lessons, children learn through reading and language how friends work to solve challenges and unselfishly serve others. In the second lesson, children enjoy the color orange in a variety of fun ways.
The following activities nurture essential:
- Language and literacy skills
- Critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Fine motor skills
- Cognitive thinking skills
- Science and discovery skills
- Clifford's First Halloween by Norman Bridwell
- Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell
- Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell
Day 1: Too Small, Too Big!
Step 1: Read Clifford's First Halloween by Norman Bridwell aloud to the class. In the story, Clifford is a puppy, and he is too small to fit into any Halloween costumes.
Teaching Tip: Many children develop their own reading style by modeling how they have been read to during this early time of language development. When reading a story to children, turn the pages slowly and speak with distinct inflections in your voice to bring the text alive.
Step 2: After reading Clifford's First Halloween, have children identify what Clifford did to solve his problem.
Step 3: Now read aloud Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell. In this story, Clifford is not a puppy anymore; he's grown too big to fit into any costumes.
Step 4: Have children identify what Clifford did to solve his new problem.
Step 5: Help children recall story details, compare the two stories, and lend suggestions about how they might have helped Clifford with his size challenge.
Day 2: "Orange" You Glad It's Autumn (or Fall)?
Step 1: Read Clifford's First Autumn by Norman Bridwell aloud to the class.
Step 2: Talk about how Autumn, or Fall, is one of the most anticipated, colorful seasons of the year. Use these fun ideas to celebrate one of Autumn's, or Fall's, most brilliant colors: orange!
- Pumpkins (one for each small group of students)
- Plastic knives or child-safe pumpkin-carving tools
- Baking sheet
- Access to an oven
- Candles to place inside Jack-o'-lanterns
- Divide the class into small groups. Help groups draw patterns and carve their pumpkins.
- Encourage children to use their senses to express smell, texture, color, shape, and sounds (thump before and after carving).
- Collect the pumpkin seeds. Season the seeds with salt and cinnamon.
- Toast seeds in the classroom or school over for children to enjoy while lights are dim and Jack-o'-lanterns are glowing.
- Large orange box to store students' items from home
- Name tags to label students' items
- Have children bring anything orange from home to put in an orange box or basket.
- Study, compare, and draw objects during language time.
Buckets of Colors
- Small buckets
- Assorted crayons or chalk pieces
- Ask children to help by filling small buckets with crayons or chalk for centers and sidewalk play.
- Juice squeezer
- Fresh oranges
- Supervise children as they make their own orange juice with a juice squeezer.
- Use this opportunity to discuss the nutritional value of oranges. Invite a producer grocer to come and share about orange varieties, etc.
- Clifford's Pumpkin Maze Reproducible Activity
- Pumpkin Dot-to-Dot Reproducible Activity
- Clifford's Leaf Match Reproducible Activity
- Give children copies of these Clifford-themed worksheets to complete individually or in groups.
As we grow, we change, we learn, and we become the best we can be!
- Help children compare how they have grown and changed since their own "puppy days." Ask children to bring a baby picture from home.
- Make two displays: one with baby pictures and one with current school year pictures. Place a picture of Clifford as a puppy atop the baby display and Clifford grown up atop the current picture display.
- Encourage children to express how everyone has changed throughout the years. Don't forget to add your picture in there for children to see how you were once a "pup" yourself!